Which VPN still works well in China?

Which VPN still works well in China?

We like the Internet for its ability to connect people from all over the world. We communicate with our friends using Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. We surf the net using the most popular search engine – Google. We read the hottest news from trusted mass media outlets like Time or BBC. We watch our favorite movies on streaming channels like Netflix and HBO. Unfortunately, in China, you cannot do all these things. The reason is due to the Great Firewall of China (Gold Shield Project) – the strictest government censorship project to date. It blocks access to the most popular western websites in China. Even if you are a tourist, you will not be able to access your Facebook or Gmail account there. So, the only way to get access to all your favorite online resources is to use a VPN service (Virtual Private Network).

For those traveling to China, it is recommended to use services like the VPN. Be sure to prepare before departing, and download the services before traveling. There are plenty of VPNs that you can buy or download for free on the internet. Unfortunately, all of them are blocked by the Great Firewall of China from time to time. In this post, we share with you the TOP 6 VPNs that are still working fine in China, according to recent data.


1. Rocket VPN – Unlimited VPN

The Rocket VPN application is available for OS X 10.12 or later and it is one of the most popular VPN services on the Chinese App Store. It is available in twelve languages, including English, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese. You can download and test it for free, limited to one hour only. The Rocket VPN service offers several subscription plans for a Mac:

  • 1 week for $0.99;
  • 1 month for $2.99;
  • 1 quarter for $8.49;
  • 1 year for $24.99.

Start using this app on your Mac by clicking on the rocket icon in the toolbar. There is no desktop application with the main window; there is only a small toolbar menu that has a simple interface. You can select one of the 16 servers in 14 locations, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, Canada and European countries and click on Connect.

Rocket VPN provides a good connection speed and changes your real IP address to the virtual IP address quickly. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other restricted websites in China work well through the Rocket VPN.

In the application’s menu, you will find links to the Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Contacts. There is no FAQ page, so if you face any problem you can only send an email and hope for a response (we did not get any).

Unfortunately, this application has no preferences or extra features which you can manage for your own needs. But it does its main function – it bypasses the Great Firewall within mainland China.


2. FreeVPN – VPN Plus

FreeVPN Unlimited, Free VPN Proxy, and HideMe Free VPN Proxy are the next most popular VPN services in the Chinese App Store. We downloaded them, but, unfortunately, the launch process failed. Luckily, the VPN Plus application, produced by the same VPN provider with the same functions, is available on the App Store in other countries. So, you can download it for free before your trip to China, for instance.

VPN Plus is a free VPN for Mac, iOS, and Android. The application for Mac has a simple interface, where you can establish a connection to one of three virtual locations: Germany, the United States or the United Kingdom. When you click on the Connect button, the VPN Plus website opens. The website is available in English and Chinese.

Unfortunately, the virtual location stated in the application does not match with the established virtual location. Three virtual locations of VPN Plus were setted up in Taiwan or Canada during our trial. So, if you want to have access to websites banned in China, VPN Plus will give you a chance. You cannot really select a particular country, though YouTube or Gmail will be working with a little delay and unstable.

Despite being a free service, VPN Plus does not log your data. It collects your inbound and outbound data and real IP address only during your running connection and then deletes it.


3. Lantern VPN

The Lantern is a very popular proxy service among internet users in China. The Lantern application works on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. It is available in English and Chinese. You can download the app on your Mac from the Lantern website and use it in two options:

  • with a limit of 500MB per month for free;
  • unlimited Pro version for $32 per year.

The interface of its Mac application is unusual. It has a quick access window in the toolbar, which you can use to connect or disconnect Lantern. If you click on Show Lantern, the Lantern webpage quickly opens in your browser. It is your personal page, where the amount of data you used and your virtual IP address are displayed. The website supports ten languages, including English and Chinese.

According to the Lantern Privacy Policy, they collect and log user data. So, we decided to save money and tested the free version. We could not select a server to which we want to connect, so the United States was selected automatically. But when we tested our IP address, we found out that our location was defined as the United Kingdom. Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, YouTube and other services worked well. However, we were not able to watch videos on the BBC iPlayer.

It is stated on the Lantern website that they encrypt users’ data with an AES 256-bit key. But, in regards to the Privacy Policy, you will not be able to experience anonymous browsing. Aside from this fact, if you have nothing to hide, Lantern gives you Internet access in China.


4. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is one of the popular VPN services in China. The ProtonVPN application works on Linux, Windows, Android, and macOS. It is available in English. You can download a free trial of the Plus subscription plan on your Mac from the ProtonVPN website and use it for 7 days. After the trial you can choose one of the ProtonVPN subscription plans:

  • Basic for 2 devices for $48 per year;
  • Plus for 5 devices with extra features for $96 per year;
  • Visionary for 10 devices with extra features for $288 per year.

The interface of the desktop client of ProtonVPN is user-friendly. It shows your real IP address when you are not connected and a virtual IP address when the VPN connection is established. You can select one of the VPN servers from the list, from among 249 servers in 19 countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, European countries, as well as the USA. You can also use an interactive map of the available servers. Click on the country, and the application connects you to a random server in this particular location. You can click the app’s icon in the toolbar to get quick access to the list of servers and then change the location. A useful option is that you can view a load of each server. Just click the “i” icon in a colored circle next to each server.

The ProtonVPN application provides a special service – Secure Core, which allows you to connect to a particular VPN server through another VPN server. It may give a more secure data transmission, thanks to the double redirection of your information, but it will slow down your speed. By now, you can establish connection to servers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States via Sweden, Iceland, and Switzerland.

ProtonVPN uses AES 256-bit key encryption and an OpenVPN secure protocol. It provides a good connection and you can freely use Skype, WhatsApp, Gmail and many other websites blocked in China. Currently, the ProtonVPN service supports Amazon US, Hulu and Netflix US streaming channels only. It also allows P2P sharing in its Plus and Visionary subscription plans. It also has a Kill Switch function, which means, that if a VPN connection drops suddenly, the application blocks all network connections on your device. Unfortunately, not all of ProtonVPN’s servers support P2P and streaming channels. You have to select the servers that fit your needs by trying them one by one.


5. VPN Client

The VPN Client website is available in mainland China and the app can be downloaded from the App Store. The VPN Client application was designed for Mac and suitable for macOS 10.11 or later and available in English. You can download it from the App Store and use its free trial for 7 days. Then you can select one of VPN Client’s subscription plans:

  • 7 days for $3.99;
  • 1 month for $8.99;
  • 3 months for $16.99;
  • 1 year for $39.99;
  • 3 years for $89.99.

This VPN for Mac supports a simultaneous connection on 5 devices. The interface of the desktop client is practical. The app’s main window has an interactive map, where you can select a particular location to which you want to connect. There is also a list of servers with the percentage of their load next to the map, which is very handy. Click on the Connect button to start your private search with a secure and fast connection. At the top bar of the app’s main window, you can upgrade your plan, manage Preferences, contact Support, select Optimal VPN, Streaming VPN, or Personal VPN in appropriate tabs. Click on the VPN Client icon in the toolbar to get quick access to your real and virtual IP addresses, preferences, the Connect/ Disconnect button, and the Select Server option.

You can use one of the 90 VPN Client servers, including Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, European countries, and the UK. VPN Client uses an AES 256-bit key encryption with IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN, Wise TCP and Wise UDP protocols, which ensures a stable and secure VPN connection.

VPN Client gives you access to online services and websites blocked in China. Its bandwidth and speed are pretty good for streaming channels like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, BBC and so on. Besides, the app has separate servers for streaming channels to distribute the load and provide a stable connection. There are also several servers which support safe P2P sharing. You can protect all your transmitted data with the VPN Client application and use all popular social media and other western websites in China freely.


6. NordVPN

NordVPN is the next VPN service in use among the Internet users in China. The NordVPN application works with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It is available in English and suitable with macOS 10.20 or later. NordVPN offers a 3-day free trial. After that period, you can buy one of the app’s subscription plans:

  • 1 month for $11.95;
  • 6 months for $54;
  • 1 year for $83.88.

One account supports a simultaneous connection on 6 devices. The interface of the desktop client is simple. The application’s main window looks like an interactive map. You just need to click on the location symbol on a map to connect to the VPN server at once. You can also click on Country List to establish a VPN connection. Unfortunately, you can not select a particular city. If you want to select the least-loaded server, open the app’s menu, scroll down to the Servers List and select one with a minimum percentage of congestion. You should also visit the NordVPN website to check which locations allow P2P sharing. NordVPN provides servers in 62 countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, UK and European countries.

In the menu of the app, you can enable a CyberSec option to block ads and malware and a KillSwitch to stop online activity if a VPN connection drops. Click on the NordVPN icon in the toolbar to access the countries list for a quick VPN connection.

NordVPN uses AES 256-bit key encryption with the OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec protocols to provide a secure VPN connection. You can also use a Double VPN option, available on some servers, which changes your real IP address twice.

NordVPN provides a good speed of stable and secure connection to unblock western websites in China. So, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Gmail, Netflix and other popular online services work well through the NordVPN application without any delays.

Comparison Chart of VPN Applications for China


Conclusion

Currently, within mainland China, Internet censorship influences online activity. That is why it is necessary to have a VPN on a device, in order to freely communicate with family and friends. You may decide to use a free a VPN in China, but you should be prepared that all your data may be collected and made available to third parties. Besides, the safety, speed, and stability of a free VPN service are low.

We advise you to use one of the most trusted and paid VPN services because it guarantees you a safe and fast Internet connection. Most paid VPNs do not collect users’ data. A large number of servers gives you a variety of locations to which you can connect. AES 256-bit key encryption and different types of protocols ensure a stable and secure connection.

In regards to the VPN services listed above, VPN Client seems to be the best VPN for China. It provides you:

  • A stable, secure and high-speed connection.
  • 5 simultaneous connections with one account.
  • P2P sharing.
  • Special Streaming VPN servers.
  • Optimal VPN servers, closer to your location for a better performance.
  • Personal VPN servers on demand.
  • Variety of the subscription plans, which suits your needs.

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